The "Good old days" might mean different things to different people. The list of death and murder in a time so often envisioned as idyllic, is unsettling. The truth of the matter is that people have always been - good and bad - people. These 'clusters' or 'outbreaks' do give pause and make one wonder if it was something in the water that drove people to such violent lengths. Here is an update with some additional ax murders added to the time line.

• In November of 1901, the Wilcox family of Los Angeles was 'knifed horribly' while they slept. (“Horrible Crime”, Oklahoman, Nov. 29, 1901, pg. 1).

• In Nov. 1904 the entire family of Julius Weber was shot and stabbed before the house was burned in Auburn, Ca (Oklahoman, Nov. 12, 1904, pg. 1).
• In March 1905, San Rafael, CA a man “Murdered His Entire Family”, Oklahoman, May 25, 105, pg. 7).

• In October 1909, James McMahon confessed to killing the Van Royen family in Kansas City. (“I Killed Them” -Yells Murderer”, Oklahoman, Oct. 27, 1909, pg.11).
• In November of 1909 in Bluebird, W. Va. a George Hood family was killed and the house burned down to try to cover the deed. (“Charred Bodies of Four found in Ruins of House.” Oklahoman, Nov.2, 1909, pg. 10).
• December 1909, Cleveland, OH woman Josephine Mangero and her two children fatally stabbed. (“Mother and two children Slain”. Oklahoman, Dec.5,1909, pg. 1.).

  • December 1909, Cleveland, OH the body of Anna Lloyd was found with wounds from a knife or ax along the railroad in or near the Canal Ridge section.

    • In March 1910, the New Orleans area saw the murders of numerous families.

  • In October 1910, Cincinnati, Ohio, the body of Mary Hockney was found alongside a railroad with her "head crushed" and gashes all over her body. She was found along the Canal Ridge section near a railroad line (theorized Railroad connections were preceived in Iowa,Texas, and Kansas deaths). This body was found in the same place and condition as one earlier in the year at News Years.
    • In December 1910, Savannah, Georgia a race war almost ensued after the deaths of Mrs. Elizabeth Gribble, Mrs. Carrie Ohlander, and Mrs. Maggie Hunter. The local police rounded up over a hundred local African Americans to be 'questioned'. (“Woman Slain by Fiendish Negro.” Oklahoman, Dec.12, 1909, pg. 18).

    • In January 1911, Rayne, LA an unnamed mother and her four children were killed.+
    • In Spring 1911, Lafayette, LA the Norbett Randall family was killed.+
    In August 1911, Booneville, Indiana, Richard Lee, his wife, and son where killed in their sleep “skulls caved in” by an ax and a fire started to hide the deed. Another son charged but doubts linger.
    •In September 1911, Colorado Springs, Co. People in several neighboring houses were discovered dead with crushed heads while they slept. Victims were a H.C.Wayne, his wife and child; a Mrs. A. J. Burnham, two children (including a one year old).*
    •In October 1911, in Monmouth, IL a William E. Dawson, his wife, and daughter were killed.
    •In October 1911, in Ellsworth, Kansas a William Showman, wife, and three children were killed as they slept.* (“Showman Family of Five Murdered.” Ellsworth Reporter, Oct.11, 1911).

    • In February, 1912, in Beaumont, Texas a family was killed. +
    • In 1912, Crowly, LA a family was killed as they slept. + (+=Some assume these LA and TX murders to be racially motivated as they are all African-American family units. Some included 'Mulatto' or mixed race children which further complicates and confuses the matter. The simple truth might also be that these families were convenient kills providing a prey separated from the major part of the society by racial prejudice, thus making them targets of ease. Others suggest some obscure church of sacrifice was involved yet the evidence appears weak to non-existent for this line of reasoning.)
    • In 1912, Lake Charles, LA, a family was killed as they slept.+
    • In April 1912, San Antonio (Police suspected the man was using the Southern Pacific Railroad since November 1911. (If the theory of the killer using the rails was correct he would next hit there and he did).
    • In June 1912, in Paola, Kansas a Rollin Hudson and wife were murdered. (“Murder Came in the Night”, Western Spirit, June 14, 1912).
    • In June 1912, in Vilasca, Iowa, eight were murdered as they slept. Victims: J.B. Moore and wife, four children, and two local girls, guests of his children. (“Recent Ax Murders”, Oklahoman, July, 14, 1912, pg. 1).
    • In December 1912, two women were killed in Columbia, Missouri. (“Horrible Murder Committed”, Columbia Herald, Dec.20, 1912).


  • In 1913, in Muskogee, Oklahoma several lone people were murdered by an axe welding killer (“Second Hatchet Murder Mystery Stirs Muskogee”, Oklahoman, Nov. 29, 1913, pg. 1).

  • In June 1913, Harrisville, Missouri sees Arthur Kellar, his wife and daughter attacked as they slept. The husband, and 7 year old daughter died.


  • In July 6, 1914, Blue Island (Chicago), IL a family was butchered as they slept. Victims: Jacob Neslesla, wife, daughter, and an infant grandchild.* (“Axe of Assassin Deals Death to Sleeping Family,” Oklahoman, July 7, 1914.)

  • Summer-Fall, 1914, Braggs, Oklahoma, in under six months three people were killed or attacked in the night. Killed were Anna Martin Braggs; injured William Herzog, Braggs; killed were Charles Everett and B.F. Richardson, Muskogee.

    • In 1919, New Orleans, more axe murders thought to be the work of gangs but also as likely a serial killer. Perhaps the work of the same killer?

    • In 1920 in Turtle Lake, N.D. eight are killed on the Jacob Wolf farm. (“Police Seek Clues in Dakota Murder”, Oklahoman, April 25, 26, 1920, pg. 2, 33).

    • In January of 1922, a mother and son are killed in Chicago. (Oklahoman, Jan. 23, 1922, pg.12.)
    • In November 1928, Omaha was stricken by a 'hatchet slayer' who killed at least three times. (Oklahoman, Nov. 21, 1928).
  • 2/13/11


    Meso American history is full of legends of their ancestors and gods who were best described as being tall, thin, and wearing long feathered or multicolored coats. Their physical description led to the use of the term 'feathered serpents.'

    Who were these tall, thin faced people some sources suggest had blue eyes? Where did they come from? The legends suggest that they went away one day and were expected to return. When the Europeans arrived in the 15th century, they were heralded as the returning gods. So - where had these strange serpent looking gods gone in the first place?

    Is there any evidence of a people resembling 'serpents' in look, movement, or speech? There may be. One clue is from ancient UR in Mesopotamia where the Ubaid 'lizard statues' were found dating as far back as 6,000 BCE. With their elongated faces, slit like eyes, and protruding noses they do resemble an upright snake.

    Middle American temples are structurally closer to the Ubaid style than the later Egyptian. Other peoples represented on Mesopotamian temples, and later Egyptian, reveal a wide variety of ethnic groups. Dominate traits (eye shape, clothing, weapons, hair styles, etc.) were used to characterize and individualize these various people groups.

    It might be argued that the slit like eyes, facial structure, and elongated body features might be abstractions of an emerging art form. Yet, some groups in the middle east associated snakes/serpents with wisdom and knowledge. Some associated them with a vast body of arcane technology or beliefs (sword making, herbal medicine, makeup, and other secret guild-like information).

    So, how might that same serpentine elite have also emerged across the globe? Independent development is one answer. Another idea has been suggested that is intriguing and that is that early explorers came to these shores. Yet, another idea is that the Platonic story of a lost land in the Atlantic might not be just a myth but have roots in an area we know as Cuba. Andrew Collins does just this in his work, Gateway to Atlantis. His reasoning is sound and his evidences hard to dismiss.

    When every year campsites and bones come to light pushing back human occupation and new connections based on research connect eastern seaboad US with Europe at an earlier and earlier date - maybe a sound, fair, and evidence based approach to the Atlantis story would not go amiss.

    I Write Like...

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    H. P. Lovecraft

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    Expanded and Revised Edition

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